Gyone (age 23): Of Roots Bound To part 1
Thick forest overshadows the descending sunlight, only gleaming partially through the holes the green leaves fail to cover up. Gyone and Sullus walk through a dirt pathway cut of the thick trees surrounding them as they make their way to their old manor. The place in which Gyone was trained by Sullus.
“C’mon dad,” said Gyone, balancing his scythe, Gale over his right shoulder as they walk at a steady pace. “Are you sure this is necessary? I don’t think I need a brush-up.”
“Number one,” replied Sullus as he counted down on his fingers. “Your stance with Gale is sloppy at best. Number two: Mia locked the apartment with you on the other end and we never get to bond anymore. And number three-“ Sullus throws a punch.
Gyone flinches as the fist suddenly haults right on his nose.
“You’ve still got a lot to learn boy,” continued Sullus. He bursts into laughter as Gyone holds his head down in shame.
With a touch of comfort, Sullus rests a hand on Gyone’s right shoulder with a subtle grip.
“Hey. Cheer up boy,” said Sullus. “One or two rounds with your old man will get you back on your feet after that mess.”
Gyone spoke aloud after a moment of silence deafening the air, only accompanied by the wind.
“I almost had him dad..”
Sullus replies as he looks to Gyone releasing the hand and looking to an old, rusted gate coming up in but a few feet ahead. The top is embroidered with the word “Irensho” in an elegant font.
“You can’t win ‘em all, don’t worry about it.”
They reside in the walled off backyard of a grey-bricked house with a dull red rooftop, missing several pieces over many years of wear and tear. Moss and vines seem to grow in their early stages over all of the property, masking naturally with the surrounding trees. Almost as if fabricated, the entire area seems to be fashioned as a fighting ring with a dirt circle in the middle of overgrowing grass. Gyone stands in the center, stretching his body every which way to ready for a good sparring. He takes off his plain white shirt and throws it to side with only a black pair of jeans and black, steel-toed boots; brandishing the scythe in only his right hand. Sullus sits on a rock at the opposite end and only looks to him for a moment before he spoke.
“Put it down, Gyone. We’re going bare-handed on this one!”
Gyone lays the scythe down to his side and looks at him with a smirk on his face.
“So we’re going classic here?” asked Gyone. “I thought I was here to learn how to use Gale.”
Sullus stands himself up, removing his dull green vest and cracking his knuckles on his large, worn hands. He chuckles to himself as he responds.
“Ah, in due time. But first I want to see if ya haven’t gone soft on me,” replied Sullus as he took a strong stance, both arms spread, elbows bent inward with palms open.
Gyone takes his stance; loose on the arms but firm and tight on the legs. A stance perfect for charging forward as he stretched himself back, right fist clenched.
“Hmph,” scoffed Gyone as he replied in a sarcastic fashion. “I should be asking you that question, old-timer.”
To this, Sullus scoffed, then replied as well.
“Forty-one is a fine age. Don’t believe me? Then shut up and show me what you’ve got,” he finished with a smile on his face.
Gyone takes the initiative and bolts forward, ready to throw a powerful punch as he closed in. Sullus’, body -in ready for seemingly any blow- stands in waiting.
+”No, Gyone. Again!”
Gyone (age 13): Keeping Up
A young Gyone falls on his back as he yells in pain. His grey hair only barely misses his shoulders and his face is as smooth as a newborn. His plain white t-shirt is covered in moist dirt and dewy grass, as if this has been repeating time and time again. He looks to his dad, tears forming at the eyes as he rubbed his cheek.
“Oww,” moaned Gyone. “Do we really have to keep this going? It’s been over four hours..”
“You see that?” replied Sullus as he crossed his arms. “That’s exactly the kind of talk I want to stop. Kick it into high gear or else this world’s gonna eat you and spit you out.”
Gyone stood himself up and exhaled a breath of air, then replied.
“Dad, I get that. But can it wait until I can feel my arms?”
Sullus laughed a hardy laugh to himself, then shook his head side to side as he replied.
“At least you’ve got my mouth, boy.” He looked to him as he continued. “Unfortunate thing is I think we both know the answer to that one.”
Gyone sighed, then replied; taking his stance once again.
Sullus as well took his stance as answered with a simple approving nod. Without hesitation, Gyone charges at a speed rarely seen by anybody so young; graceful and unpredictable. Fists locked and ready to strike, this little one’s vicious for sure.
He begins with a mad flurry of punches as he keeps up his pace, forcing Sullus to mimic his speed moving backwards. As he did, he deflects each incoming blow with relative ease. It seemed that Sullus did not have to move his hand at all for a few. Finally, after moments of continuous blows, Gyone brought himself to the point of exhaustion. With this draining of his power, Sullus reacted quickly and open-palmed struck him in the gut, putting him to the ground once more with a thud.
“Come on, boy,” scoffed Sullus. “That didn’t work the hundredth time, and it’s certainly not going to work the thousandth. Adapt, Gyone!”
Sullus weaved and motioned side to side, taking multiple poses both nimble and firm. He spoke as he changed.
“Move free and ready yourself for anything your opponent can throw at you. Don’t fight statically; observe the area and their motions. Move with the wind and fight with your mind, or else don’t even bother getting up.”
“But dad,” said Gyone as he sat himself up from the ground. “I’m only thirteen years old. You really expect me to be this great fighter?”
To this, Sullus laughed hard.
“Haaahahaha! Of course not, boy.”
He began to walk towards Gyone at a slow pace as he continued.
“But-“ said Sullus as he towered over Gyone and held out a hand. “To grow a mighty tree, we first need a mighty seed.”
Without hesitation, Gyone grabbed his father’s hand and stood himself up; smile prominent on his face. This was short-lived unfortunately as Sullus sent another strike straight to his gut. He yelled out.
“Rule number one..”
+”Never let your guard down!”+
Gyone (age 18): Steady Pace
Short-sleeved dress shirt with buttons undone and some slacks, Gyone strolls on his school campus alongside Jole who is dressed nearly identical, pitch black night overhead. Both shoot the breeze with casual small talk as they walked.
“Better be glad I showed up, Jole,” uttered Gyone. “I still don’t get why you dragged me along to the stupid dance.
Gyone stared out the passing windows of the towering building, observing the surrounding nothingness of the desert over the wall. Jole responded a moment later.
“Because why?” replied Gyone.
“Well..” He paused for a moment and rested his arms behind his neck.
“Come on, out with it!” demanded Gyone.
“Alright, yikes!” replied Jole. “Well.. I heard “she’s” supposed to be here tonight.”
Gyone punched his shoulder lightly and replied.
“Asshole, I needed to study for Hybrid Biology tomorrow! I don’t even know what the hell a tiger and a raven’s genes make! Besides.. I’m awful with introductions.”
“Well I’ve got to memorize my vows for the guard. Big whoop,” retorted Jole.
Jole laid a hand on his shoulder as they approached the hall for the dance; thumping techno and bass beats rang through the door, accompanied by an energetic violin melody.
“Don’t worry man, you’ll have fun, crush or otherwise; trust me! And for the record-“ he stopped as he grabbed the door handle and pushed it open. “It’s a ravaprimus.”
Then it was revealed; a large, square room exploding with energy as people dance the night away while others hung back into the sidelines. The music was now in full effect, ambient sounds clear, but muffled from the door. Both walk through and survey the room looking for particular people. Gyone spoke to Jole, raising his voice to compete with the noise.
“Just who are you looking for anyway?” asked Gyone.
“Abbitha,” replied Jole.
“Seriously. Abbitha?!” replied Gyone, seeming shocked of the name.
“What?” asked Jole in a sarcastic tone. “You can’t tell me she isn’t cute.”
The two stop at the edge of the dance floor in the center, Gyone looking up at the priceless chandelier and Jole looking to the Anubian bouncer hidden in the corner; full beard that stretched down to his chest and a black tuxedo with a striped-black white tie. They continued their conversation, periodically looking back to their items of interest.
“Hmm. Well you’ve got me there, Jole,” replied Gyone.
“’Course I do,” said Jole. “Once we find her, you might also get to see you-know-who.”
Upon hearing this, Gyone instinctively fixes his messy long hair up to an acceptable level for what was before –to him, at least- a waste of time.
“Hey,” said Jole as he trained his stare to the bouncer. “Does that guy look.. odd to you?”
Gyone looked to the Anubian and shrugged as he replied.
“He’s buff, so what? That’s how they’re supposed to be, Jole.”
“No,” said Jole. “You see that crazy forehead tattoo?”
“Yeah, and?” answered Gyone.
“And,” he continued. “It reminds me of something. Some kind of.. symbolism or something. I think-“
Hands reach from behind Jole and cover his eyes. To this, he jolted and instinctively yelled “Gah!”
“Did I actually scare you babe?” said Abbitha, beautifully dressed for the evening in a silk white dress that came down to the base of her feet and her dark brown hair put up in a bun; her dark skin and dull, green eyes seem to fluster and glow in excitement.
Jole smirked and replied.
“Well of course not. Saw you comin’ a mile away.”
Abbitha took off her hands and turned him around, caressing his hands and staring into him seemingly. After a moment of blissful relief, Abbitha looks to Gyone.
“Why you’re the last person I’d expect around here, hotshot,” she said as she let go of Jole. “Thought you were too cool for dances.”
Gyone rubs the back of his neck as he replied.
“Well, y’know I-“ He was interrupted by Abbitha, in a matter as though a thought just sprang up and she didn’t want to forget.
“Oh right!” exclaimed Abbitha as she took a few steps back, revealing an orange-haired teenager with baby-blue eyes and a teal dress similar to Abbitha’s. “Gyone, this is Mia. Mia, Gyone,” she finished, presenting her.
The two look at each other at first with nothing but an awkward wave of the hand, shyly exchanging a brief hello.
“H-hi,” said Gyone, noticeably awed.
“A pleasure,” said Mia, smiling with a distinct but subtle blush.
Abbitha and Jole observe their meeting with slight curiosity. After a moment, the two say their goodbyes.
“Well we’ll be off. You two make nice now,” said Abbitha as she took Jole by the hand and rushed to the dance floor.
Jole only smiled slightly, looking to Gyone and giving a thumbs up. Both –now alone in the midst of the flashing lights and pumping crowds- stand next to each other, sharing brief glimpses back from time to time; both seem to blush slightly.
“So,” Mia slurred. “Uhm. I’m sorry, I’m so bad at meeting new people.”
“Don’t worry, you’re fine,” replied Gyone, loosening up and facing her directly. “It’s not every day I get to meet such a.. well.. quite frankly, gorgeous girl so I’m a little tongue-tied, too.”
To this, Mia blushed and giggled slightly; as well relaxing a bit more and meeting his stare.
“Oh? Is that right?” she said coyly. “Well you don’t look too bad yourself, if I’m being completely honest.”
Gyone smiled and turned away for a second; it was clear they were growing on one another slowly. They go on to spend the better part of an hour just chatting away about their interests in life, their tendencies, for better or worse; and so on.
The two sit themselves down at a table as the atmosphere winds down to a lull. Gyone slouched his arm over the back of his chair and Mia rests her head on her hand, supported by the table.
“You didn’t,” said Mia with a look of intrigue on her face.
“Swear to god,” replied Gyone, holding back a laugh.
“You’re such a dope!” exclaimed Mia, beginning to chuckle. “Why not just come and talk to me instead of staring at the back of my head during class?”
Gyone rubbed the back of his neck as he responded.
“I’m awful at small talk and never got the chance to confront you. It’s weird.”
“Hmm, is that so?” replied Mia, leaning in closer and catching her head on her hands.
“Well to be honest, I thought you were kinda cute. I was the same way, sadly.”
Gyone, as well, leaned in and continued.
“I wish I had known,” said Gyone coyly. “Probably would’ve given me that last push.”
“Maybe,” replied Mia with a smile on her face.
After a moment of silence, a new song came up; a slow one of gentle pianos, delicate strings, and the voice of an angel humming in the background to the ups and downs of the progression. Mia –never taking her eyes off of him- stood up and beckoned to Gyone with a wave of her hand. Gyone got up and moved closer, reaching out. Mia spoke in a soft tone as she stared into his eyes.
“How well can you dance?” she said as a giggle escaped her.
Gyone took her hand and chuckled as well before responding.
The two make their way to the dance floor and seem to twirl around one another. Mia places her hand on his shoulders, gently grasping onto his wrinkled, black dress shirt. As well, Gyone gently grips onto her sides and leads them both into a steady rhythm of simple swaying and weaving from side to side. As the song goes on, both close in to one another until Mia nearly buries her face into Gyone’s chest; serene bliss without words, it was clear.
“Hey,” said Gyone softly.
Mia revealed her face and stared up at him as she replied with a simple “Hmm.”
“Do you feel something warm and comforting? It’s strange.”
“I think that’s what they call enjoying another person’s company, you dope,” replied Mia as she nuzzled her face into his chest completely, moving her arms and wrapping them around his sides. “Frankly, I could get used to it.”
Gyone smiled as he came to a realization that this little crush of his could grow into something much more. What little time they’ve spent together has felt like the definition of heaven to him. Without a word, he parted her hair, prompting her to look up. As she did, he met her face with his own, becoming unable to hold this intense feeling back. He lays a kiss on her lips, eyes shut and sounds frozen around them. Mia is quick to accept this advance as she moves with him immediately; the start of something beautiful surely.
They open their eyes to meet one another once again, this time with nothing seeming to hold them back. One kiss after the other seemed to take up minutes before they gave their lips and tongues a rest. Gyone looks over Mia’s shoulder to find Jole and Abbitha staring at the two as they danced as well. Both seemed excited with Jole giving an approving nod and thumbs up. Gyone shuts his eyes and continues to dance along, tightly holding her around her lower hips.
+”And that’s how I met her, dad. To think I almost didn’t go..”+